Governor supports Binghamton University School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacy
By Katie Ellis
Binghamton University is thanking Gov. Andrew Cuomo and State Sen. Thomas Libous for including $10 million in the governor's budget proposal to begin site acquisition and design work for a School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacy.
"We all have been talking about a School of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Pharmacy and Harvey, the governor and I have had a number of conversations about moving forward and accelerating it," said Libous. "The governor has reached out to me that he will be putting $10 million into his budget proposal on Tuesday, part of an overall $60-million project. We see this as a couple-year process, but we believe that with the governor's support we're on a fast track. He made it very clear to me that this is the real deal."
The school will most likely be built in Johnson City, Libous said, and will be a major component of the University's community-oriented and community-driven agenda, supporting economic development in Johnson City, the Town of Union, Broome County and beyond.
"A school of pharmacy requires hospital rotations for its students, so we thought it best to locate the new school near a hospital," said Binghamton University President Harvey Stenger. "This is a critical announcement because we've been talking for months about space and, when we are so tight for space on campus, this answers a very big question for us.
"We submitted our Letter of Intent for the school to SUNY last September, and our full proposal will be submitted this spring," said Stenger. "The new school will build on our many strengths in health sciences and healthcare, engaging world-class researchers, students, entrepreneurs, health science corporations and healthcare partners in cutting-edge, transdisciplinary research; integrated product development; and innovative education in pharmacy," said Stenger. "This will be an interdisciplinary effort that will allow us to create solutions for critical global health problems and simultaneously support local, regional and statewide economic growth."
"To date we have focused on engineering, healthcare, but this is a new component," said Libous. "How does this take us forward? We will become known for a whole new sector. That's great and I like the jobs and the growth and the Johnson City help, but what more does it do? It attracts and makes available opportunities for pharmaceutical companies and others to come to this area. This is truly a win-win for the Southern Tier."
Binghamton University currently has well over 100 faculty, research professors and scientists, coupled with an equal number of graduate students, conducting cutting-edge research and applied development in multiple areas related to the health sciences. These areas of research include neuroscience, pharmacology, biomedical engineering, tissue engineering, telemedicine, healthcare systems, biofilms, addictions, clinical psychology, stress treatment, medical imaging, anatomic simulations, robotic surgery, pharmaceutical delivery science, gerontology, nutritional wellness, regulatory policies and international trade policies. To advance these fields, researchers from all schools and colleges at Binghamton and are in collaboration with local, national and international corporations and healthcare providers, such as UHS, Lourdes Hospital, Upstate Medical University, General Electric, Lockheed Martin, Samsung, Iberdrola, Corning Inc., the Mayo Clinic, Virtua Health, Montefiore Medical Center and its Care Management Organization, Mount Sinai, the New York Organ Donor Network and others.
Binghamton is also working with many other SUNY campuses, through the SUNY Networks of Excellence Initiative, on transformational joint research programs related to brain-activity mapping and diseases and cures that impact New York state and the nation.
Growth in these disciplines − articulated in the University's Road Map to Premier strategic plan – reflects the interests of incoming students even as it drives economic development, said Stenger. Simply put, growth in research disciplines begets research dollars, thereby producing a self-sustaining and feed-forward effect on job creation. The infusion of capital funding from the governor and SUNY will play a critical role in construction of the new school, which will serve as a physical incubator of new ideas, new jobs and new companies.
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